Letters From Lana: How to Deal With Your Worst Enemy
From our March newsletter...
You know why I love Spring? It's the season of fresh starts. But what does a fresh start mean to you? To me, it means rooting out the enemy within.
Leena is one of my best friends. We met in high school when she was living in D.C., but these days, she lives in her home country of Bahrain. We both love studying philosophy and religious texts. Recently, she's been studying the Arabic word for devil in Islamic literature.
She said, "You know, Lana. People often speak of the devil as a beast with horns. But I believe that interpretation is too literal. The devil is your ego."
"Think about it," she said. "It murmurs lies in your ear. And you believe it!"
What kind of lies is your ego telling you? Maybe it's telling you that you're better than someone else or more deserving. Maybe it says you can't succeed unless that other woman fails. Maybe it ties your self-worth to how other people perceive you. Maybe it tells you to lash out at another. To put them in their place.
Giving into your ego might feel good in the moment, but in the long-term, it leaves scars. Scars that linger in your mind for years. Scars that remind you of how it all went down and how you felt when it did. All these scars from worthless battles.
A bright red cardinal lives next to my dad's house. For years, this bird has ATTACKED the kitchen window. His little body makes loud THUDS every time he slams into the glass. The force is enough to shake you out of sleep and my dad has threatened him with his BB gun on many occasions.
So what's the bird's deal? The window is reflective. When he sees his reflection, he likely thinks another male cardinal is encroaching on his turf. He doesn't recognize this enemy as himself. He thinks he's competing in a life or death battle when in reality, it's just his reflection. The other bird doesn't actually exist.
Are we really that much different from this cardinal? His enemy is a reflection of himself. Is ours?
For the past six months, I've stopped fighting with myself. Instead, I've been incorporating a daily practice of reflection, prayer, and meditation in my life. By quieting my thoughts, I've learned to silence the enemy and connect with my inner true love. And if you're feeling a little short on genuine, everlasting love, I encourage you to do the same too. It's helped me and I sincerely hope it helps you too.
My therapist once told me a story. One day, a colleague of hers asked how she kept the energy of her space so clean. Did she burn sage? Light a candle? Clients can come in with some serious issues. How did she keep all their heaviness from absorbing into her space and soul?
My therapist explained it like this: place a bucket under a faucet of running water. The bucket will eventually fill up. If the faucet keeps running, dirt can't get into it because the force of fresh water keeps propelling it out.
That's the importance of a daily practice. It roots out your ego with a flowing spring of truth. It reminds you that you have a fresh start now.
Your sister in beauty,
PS I hate that I even have to say this, but when talking about spirituality, I feel like I have to. Me/this brand/this business loves everybody as they are. You deserve the greatest love, and that only comes from within.
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